Jason Witten can’t return to Cowboys, even if he and team wanted reunion

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Jason Witten has as much chance of returning to the Cowboys as Mike Ditka, Billy Joe DuPree, Doug Cosbie, Jay Novacek or any of their other former tight ends. In other words, Witten is not coming out of retirement.

He can’t.

ESPN created a non-story story about an ESPN employee Sunday, saying Cowboys coach Jason Garrett has made multiple attempts, including “some of which came in recent weeks,” to get Witten to return “and help the Cowboys in their postseason push.”

The story generated headlines, questions and buzz. It ignored one important caveat.

Witten is on the Cowboys’ reserve/retired list. Players on the reserve/retired list can’t be reinstated after Week 13, according to the NFL. ESPN posted the story after Week 13.

The only way for a retired player to return would be for the team to waive him from the reserve/retired list with no guarantees of him passing through waivers unclaimed.

Garrett and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones both denied trying to entice Witten to return. Witten, who, since he is an employee of ESPN, surely knew the story was coming ahead of time, was forced to address it, though he didn’t deny it.

“There’s nothing there,” the Monday Night Football analyst said on ESPN, via the Dallas Morning News. “Look, I’m enjoying where I’m at. Those guys are red hot. They don’t need to change a thing with the way they’re playing, and the way that defense is playing.

“They’re in good shape and so am I.”

25 responses to “Jason Witten can’t return to Cowboys, even if he and team wanted reunion

  1. This reminds me of back in ‘02 when Deion Sanders was retired but wanted to play with the then red-hot Oakland Raiders… the Redskins released him but pretty well every team in contention put in a waiver claim so Deion just stayed retired.

  2. You mean to tell me ESPN created fakenews to generate buzz and clicks? I’m shocked! Shocked I tell you.

  3. Um, nice try…

    The Cowboys #1 TE Geoff Swaim was injured Week 11 vs. Atlanta and required wrist surgery. I would think Garrett would call immedidately to get a feeler if Witten wanted to come back.

    Witten would definitely be eligible to come off the retired list in Week 11… so it WASN’T a “non-story”.

  4. While this may be technically true, it is not difficult to get around. All 31 other teams know Witten is not going to come out of retirement to play for them, so if the Cowboys waived him there is really no reason for anybody to claim him other than to block the Cowboys from getting him back.

    And that possibility wouldn’t be a reason for them not to attempt it if both parties wanted a reunion. There just isn’t really much of anything to this story.

  5. If whitten can’t return to the cowboys, then at least get him the hell off TV. Monday night football is awful with him and Tessitore. Hey ESPN the experiment failed.

  6. akira1971 says: “Um, nice try…

    The Cowboys #1 TE Geoff Swaim was injured Week 11 vs. Atlanta and required wrist surgery. … so it WASN’T a “non-story”.”

    Oops, I guess one of those “gotcha” moments that backfires spectacularly…!

  7. moosejawman says:
    December 11, 2018 at 3:37 pm
    Anyone who watches Monday Night Football is disappointed


    EVERYone who watches Monday Night Football is disappointed

  8. I was hoping it was true so we didn’t have to listen to him do games anymore. He makes Joe Theismann seem like a mute.

  9. Just because they posted the story after week 13 doesn’t men the Cowboys weren’t trying to get him to come back prior to the deadline. So, not a non-story.

    But I guess that’s a hard concept for those anxious to throw darts at espn (not that they don’t deserve some of that on other things, like the broadcast crew).

  10. Sounds like the non-story story is right here on PFT. You just stated the team could waive him and barring the unlikely event of another team claiming the Cowboys could sign him. “He Can’t” should be Yes he can. But I do agree that ESPN is worthless.

  11. Hold up! People still watch ESPN? Thats surprising honestly with its TMZ style of journalism and the same 24 hour loop of Lebron highlights.

  12. Terrell owens is still in great shape and will shred defenses like he’s always done even during his last year in Buffalo with the worst qb in the nfl. Not sure why nobody picked him up then or now. He can help the bears offense and trubiski. Dude is always open. He can’t be stopped. I know he’s 40 years old now, but that doesn’t matter. Owens is still in great shape, can still run crisp routes and can still run a 4.4 40. Watch his recent videos he made. Cowboys or bears should sign him for a playoff run. Today He’s still better than 90% of wr’s in the nfl. If you can improve your offense greatly by signing terrell owens, then you have to do it if you want to win a superbowl. People need to set their feelings aside and grow up. If he didn’t get blackballed by the nfl, owens would’ve broken all of Jerry rices records. I think that’s a big reason why all teams colluded to keep him out of the NFL, because owens was a td machine and people hated him because they have soft skin. He never been in trouble with the law. But he celebrated after a td and teams hated that because he averaged over ten tds per year, 100 catches, 1000 yards . Even his final years with the Bengal and the bills, owens was averaging 10 tds, 90 catches, 1000 yards. Krapernick has no case because he stinks, but owens definitely has a case for collusion. 100% .

  13. Witten isn’t that bad on MNF but…I sure do agree on the halftime package, it’s awful. A few weeks ago Suzy Kolber showed up in HD with 3 different colored roots and looked very unprofessional. Show some pride.

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